The youngest of the four national pageant winners from Buford City Schools is six-year-old Bryxton Hansard, Miss Elementary America First Grade 2023.

Bryxton Hansard is crowned Miss Elementary America First Grade in June in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Photo by Sheldon Smith.

In June, at the Miss Elementary America First Grade Pageant in Little Rock, Ark., Bryxton won the national crown. Her self-confidence and speaking skills earned her first place in the interview portion of the pageant.

Bryxton’s parents, Jonathan and Kelly Hansard feel it is important that they are “raising her to understand that everyone doesn’t live the same way. So we always want to give back and help those in need.”

Most pageant organizations stress the importance of community service and empowering the nation’s youth to be better, more compassionate people. The Miss High School America Pageant Organization, the parent organization for the Miss Elementary America First Grade Pageant, is no exception.

Bryxton reacts to winning the national title.
Photo by Sheldon Smith.

The national platform for the Miss High School America Pageant Organization is called B.R.A.V.E. It stands for “Building Respect and Values for Everyone.”

According to the pageant organization, “B.R.A.V.E. promotes Building Respect and Value for Everyone through classroom, library, and community presentations to school-aged children and their parents to create awareness and to promote a bully-free and safe environment. Our mission is to reduce the effects of bullying and awareness of bullying in schools and communities.” 

“Bryxton has spent the last year visiting classrooms and attending events to promote the BRAVE message,” says Kelly.

In addition to promoting the national platform, Bryxton is heavily involved in local community service projects. Already this year, she has amassed over 375 community service hours and has received a gold Presidential award for community service.

Bryxton (center) and friends make and collect sandwiches for those in need in the community.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Hansard.

Along with three other sister queens, Bryxton is involved in a community service project called Linked Together. The girls repurpose plastic shopping bags into sleeping mats for homeless people. They use a weaving technique using a weaving loom to turn the bags into sleeping mats.  

In addition to the Linked Together project, Bryxton and her sister queens gather weekly to make sandwiches to donate to organizations that distribute them throughout the community to those in need. So far this year, the girls have made or collected over 10,000 sandwiches.

Bryxton has also helped make and sell chocolate bombs that raised money to provide Christmas for over 11 families in the Buford community. She has colored pictures and sent cards to U.S. military personnel. Bryxton’s mother said she is always busy giving back in one way or another. 

Bryxton has been participating in pageants since she was four months old when she competed in the Little Miss Buford Pageant.

Bryxton’s first pageant was the Little Miss Buford Pageant when she was four months old.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Hansard.

When asked why she participates in pageants, Bryxton says, “I love making new friends. I gain interview skills, confidence and it opens lots of doors to help the community.”

Her parents support her decision to continue to participate in pageants because they say, “It has helped her build confidence, self-esteem, leadership skills, interview skills and communication skills.”

Bryxton interacts with others and carries herself like that of a child twice her age. She is extremely well-spoken. Her mother says that she has always had a natural tendency to gravitate towards others but pageants have helped. For the past two years, Bryxton has had an interview coach to help her think quickly and confidently articulate her thoughts.

Kelly says, “Bryxton will talk to anyone and everyone who will listen. Being involved in pageants from an early age though, has definitely contributed to her comfort level in social settings.”

Bryxton celebrates her Buford roots with a photo shoot in Historic Buford.
Photo by Alicia Payne.

In addition to pageantry, Bryxton loves to cheer for the Buford Wolves and was named Most Energetic last season.  She and her three older brothers, Cohen, 14; London, 12; and Finley, 9, have all attended Buford City Schools since Kindergarten. 

In the future, Bryxton says she wants to own a daycare and “be a boss.”

To follow Bryxton’s journey during her year-long reign as Little Miss Elementary First Grade 2023, click here.

Featured photo: Buford six-year-old Bryxton Hansard was crowned Miss Elementary America First Grade 2023 in June in Arkansas. Photo by Alicia Payne.

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